By Colin Bado, TSB Staff
ROUND ROCK — McKinney Boyd had already defeated The Woodlands during the 2013 season, but that was four months ago.
“Time has changed since January. They improved and we improved,” said Boyd head coach, Casey Osborn.
Despite the months that have elapsed since the Broncos defeated The Woodlands 2-1 in the Georgetown Governor’s Cup on Jan. 19, the outcome remained the same Friday night with the added pressure of a 5A Region II Boys Soccer Semifinal match. Boyd defeated The Woodlands 2-1 at the Kelley Reeves Athletic Complex, advancing the Broncos into Saturday’s Regional Final at the same stadium.
Boyd (19-5-2) will play Kingwood in the Region II championship at 1 p.m. today.
In the 31st minute Friday, midfielder, Alex Lopez surveyed the pitch before he took the throw-in. Lopez sprinted toward the sideline, front-flipped and flung the ball into the 6-yard box. Both teams waited in anticipation for the ball to fall back to earth. Before The Woodlands’ goalkeeper, Simon Boehme could get hand on it; Boyd’s Ben Upton flicked the ball with his head, sending it into the net.
Hoping to conjure up an equalizer, The Woodlands (20-3-3) was allotted a direct free kick in the 33rd minute just outside the 18-yard box. Boyd intercepted the kick and quickly transitioned to the offensive. Boyd lobbed the ball beyond the Woodlands defense creating a potential breakaway. As both teams raced for possession, Boehme left his net, attempting to clear the ball before either team could reach it. He misjudged Boyd forward Juan Moran’s proximity to the ball and met Moran with his cleats raised in the air resulting in a vicious collision. Boehme’s dangerous play earned him a Red Card, ejecting him from the match.
For the remainder of the game, The Woodlands would be forced to play with a man down. With only 10 men on the field and down 1-0, the Woodlands had their work cut out for them.
Refusing to be denied, the Woodlands fought valiantly and in the 48th minute Jordan Lewallen received the ball inside the 6-yard box and without hesitation shot it past Boyd goalkeeper Evan Davies.
“We got in the wrong mindset, and we lowered our guard,” said Osborn.
The tie game brought new life to each team. Both teams battled back and fourth desperately seeking the go-ahead goal.
Heading into the final 10 minutes of the match, the Broncos overpowered The Woodlands and maintained possession deep in the Woodlands’ zone. Relentlessly, the Broncos tested the new goalkeeper, Alan Aziz. Boyd earned five corners in the span of two minutes. And on the fifth try, Raul Serrano found William Wiginton in front of the net. In the 68th minute, Boyd would take the lead and maintain their foothold the remainder of the match.
“The Woodlands are always a well coached team. They brought their A game and they came to compete, “ Osborn said.